The Unicorn Theatre has announced 14 new productions for its 2014/2015 season including a festive treat in the form of a new adaptation of The Nutcracker And The Mouse King directed by Unicorn-regular Ellen McDougall.
With something on offer for everyone aged from just six months old, the London Bridge venue’s Artistic Director described the season as offering children “the space and freedom to explore the world on their own terms,”, describing herself as “extremely excited” to see how audiences react to the season that includes everything from innovative puppetry to reimagined classics.
The Nutcracker And The Mouse King will no doubt be a highlight of the season for many families. Arriving in time for Christmas, the show for children aged eight and older plays from 21 November to 4 January and will rediscover the original story that inspired one of ballet’s most famous offerings.
Created by playwright Annie Siddons, the play will take audiences back to the roots of E.T.A Hoffman’s 19th century-set magical story and centre on seven-year-old Marie who rescues a sad and broken Nutcracker from under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. At the stroke of midnight, the broken Nutcracker magically comes alive and the pair journey to a secret land of nothing but candy, facing the evil Mouse King on their way.
The imaginative new production will be followed by another new take on an old classic, Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Playing from 16 January to 21 March, this innovative look at the morality story of a servant girl forced to choose between saving herself and rescuing an abandoned child will be accompanied by a live soundtrack and aimed at slightly older children aged 11+.
The pair of well-known dramas are just two of many highlights in the Unicorn’s packed season. For the youngest of theatregoers aged five and under, treats include a look at the ups and downs of being very young in Seesaw (6 September to 2 November), Scrunch (9 December to 4 January) a festive-themed sensory new show for babies, and the cheeky The Polar Bears Go Wild (9 to 25 January), in which a pair of naughty polar bears go on the adventure of a lifetime.
The season offers plenty of new writing including Lewis Gibson’s The Chair (20 March to 12 April), in which children aged seven and older are challenged to head to Tiger Bay and meet Cardiff’s cheapest – and scariest – barber, and Joy Wilkinson’s Britain’s Best Recruiting Sergeant (13 February to 15 March), which remembers music hall star Vesta Tilley and her fascinating involvement in World War One.
For the full line-up, including details of the return of favourites including Something Very Far Away, Velveteen Rabbit and Nosferatu, visit the Unicorn Theatre website.